Cabrera's two-run double in the first inning triggered a five-run Detroit uprising to start the game and he added another run-producing two-bagger in the sixth for an 8-0 Tigers advantage.
Jhonny Peralta chipped in with two RBI as Detroit claimed the first of a three-game series.
Porcello (5-5) held the powerful Texas lineup to one run over six innings, allowing six hits and striking out seven while working around three walks.
Rangers starter Justin Grimm (1-1) was pounded in his second major league appearance, surrendering six runs on eight hits in just one inning.
Josh Hamilton belted his 23rd homer -- a two-run clout -- for American League West-leading Texas.